The Ghana Football Association Disciplinary Committee has fined Great Olympics reserve goalkeeper Joseph Akefie an amount of GHC 1,000 for a misconduct in their First Capital Plus Premier League match against WAFA at the Sogakope Park on 25th January, 2015.
Mr. Joshua Akefie was charged for insulting and threatening the referee after the said match, thereby compelling the Security Personnel to intervene by detaining the match officials on the field for about ten (10) minutes before ushering them into their dressing room, conduct which violates Articles 56 and 58 of the GFA Disciplinary Code and Article 35(1)(b) of the GFA General Regulations.
In his Statement of Defence, Akefie pleaded not guilty to the charge and requested a personal hearing to defend the charges against him.
The Committee examined the depositions in the Charge Sheet, the Statement of Defence, the oral evidence of both Mr. Joshua Akefie and the GFA Prosecutor, the reports of the match officials and the official video of the said match.
The Committee upon watching the official video of the match identified Mr. Joshua Akefie standing close to the Referee on the field of play after the match. Whereas, the words and sounds emanating from him were not very clear, his hand gestures were clearly not complimentary towards the Referee. He had to be restrained from the referee.
Article 56 of the Disciplinary Code provides that:
“Any player, team or match official who insults another in any way, especially by using offensive gestures or language, or who violates the principles of fair play or whose behaviour is unsporting in any other way may be subject to sanctions in accordance with Article 10”.
The Disciplinary Committee was satisfied that that Mr. Joshua Akefie’s conduct amounted to a breach of Article 56 of the GFA Disciplinary Code and shall accordingly apply the necessary sanction against him in this respect.
The video of the incident could not however, support the application of Article 58 of the Disciplinary Code and Article 35(1)(b) of the General Regulations.
Article 58 of the Disciplinary Code provides that:
“Anyone subject to this Code, who intimidates a match official with serious threats will be sanctioned with a fine of at least GHc2,000 and a match suspension. …..”
Whereas Article 35(1)(b) of the General Regulations provides as follows:
“A club official, player or member of a club who incites players against other players or match officials against their ruling or encourages an unhealthy demonstration in whatever form commits an offence and shall be liable to a fine to be determined by the GFA Disciplinary Committee or banned from attending matches played under the jurisdiction of the GFA for such period as the GFA Disciplinary Committee may determine”.
In the circumstances, the Committee was satisfied that Mr. Joshua Akefie had not breached Articles 58 of the GFA Disciplinary Code and Article 35(1)(b) of the General Regulations of the GFA.
The Disciplinary Committee makes the following decisions:
1. That the Committee having satisfied itself that the evidence adduced before it supports the charge of misconduct with respect to Articles 56 of the GFA Disciplinary Code against Mr. Joshua Akefie, hereby imposes a fine of One Thousand Ghana Cedis (GH¢1,000) against him in accordance with Article 10 of the GFA Disciplinary Code.
2. That the fine mentioned in Decision 1 above, shall be paid to the GFA within fourteen (14) days upon receipt of this Ruling, failing which Accra Great Olympics shall automatically forfeit all subsequent matches after the said deadline in accordance with Article 15(b) of the GFA Disciplinary Code and Article 39(8)(b) of the First Amendment of the GFA General Regulations.
3. That should any party be dissatisfied with or aggrieved by this Decision the party has within three (3) days of being notified of this Ruling to appeal to the Appeals Committee (See Article 37(11) of the General Regulations of the GFA).
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